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Medical Devices Interoperability Drives Efficient Clinical & Business Outcome Analysis

By Niranjan K Ramakrishnan, CIO (IT), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

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Niranjan K Ramakrishnan, CIO (IT), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

According to the Medical Device Interoperability Coordinating Council (MDICC)’s report dated March 2013, which examined the areas of waste in health care that can potentially be eliminated through greater medical device interoperability and the adoption of commonly accepted standards for interoperability. The report based on various analyses suggested that annual savings in excess of USD 30 billion may be liberated by widespread adoption of functional interoperability for medical devices.

The real innovation in medical technology which is helping the clinicians in diagnosing and treating thousands of complex health conditions is primarily due to the next generation medical devices. Second most promising revenue generation strategy after pharmaceuticals is the diagnostic services through the new age medical devices.

Ability of a healthcare organization to maintain a seamless communication between the medical devices and the enterprise information system with lot more consistency to exchange patient data would be a key to deliver quality and timely healthcare services.

Increasing Complexity of Medical Technology:

• Though Indian medical device market is ranked one among top 20 in the world, the investment in R&D segment is very less due to various cost cutting initiatives in the healthcare sector.

• Innovation in Medical Technology in Healthcare is possible when the appropriate collaboration among the stakeholders such as clinicians, service providers and researchers to identify the clinical requirements and business needs.

• Seamless integration of various systems and scientific documentation of the outcomes are the key ingredients for such collaborations.

• Functional requirements of each and every segment of healthcare are different and it is indeed the volume game that drives medical device industry in India.

• Too many players and every manufacture’s approach towards medical device integration with the legacy information systems.

Best Practices while Dealing with Medical Devices Information System:

• Healthcare technology organizations need to invest extensively in expanding beyond products and explore the services around to deliver a comprehensive solution for all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry.

• Beyond the deployment of medical devices, continuous training, interfacing with multiple information systems, data collection and analytics based on the data that was acquired and derive meaningful outcome analysis are mandatory to demonstrate the value of the investment.

• Consistent adoption of Interoperable standards and support on seamless communication between the devices and information system.

• Devices manufacturing organizations should develop a tool kit that makes Equipment to equipment interfacing, equipment to information system integration and Internet of Things (IoT) possible and easy to adopt.

• Automating the device to patient information system reduced the medical error and saves the data entry time to a great extent.

• Panic range alerts and on critical reporting directly to the mobile devices through IoT would improve the quality of the care and improve the patient safety as well.

• The seamless device interfacing will allow healthcare professionals to effectively use the quality time and resources in capturing and analyzing the data from the devices to the patient information system.

New Generation’s Enterprise Hospital Information Systems:

Recent versions of Hospital Information Systems do bring in the following capabilities.

• Capability to quickly interface the devices with multiple electronic health record solutions.

• Tools to monitor the performance of the devices for proactive maintenance and support to keep the downtime as low as possible.

• Alerts, tasks management and work flow management directly to the nurses and clinicians workbench.

• Platform to aggregate and analyze the acquired the structured, classified and codified data for mapping the trends and outcomes.

• MIS systems to predict and analyze the return and value of the investment to the any granular level such as RoI on specific test procedure wise, equipment wise and department.

Medical Device Registry:

• By building patient registries, performance of medical devices at different environments across the deployments can be reviewed.

• Evaluation of patient outcomes while treating them with the devices, will help in the subsequent design and development of the devices.

• Clinical and financial outcome analysis of devices utilization would really a key strategy input for the healthcare organizations.

• By building medical devices registry, device manufacturers, implementation agencies and system integrators may analyze whether they are able to fulfil a safety standards as per the regulatory body’s requirements by performing a comparative effectiveness assessment.

• By adopting and integrating Unique Device Identifiers (UDI) along with Unique Patient Identifiers any complex Registries can be interfaced and meaningful evaluations to derive combining data on many different devices across multiple hospitals with different clinical pathways.

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